Today your task in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog is to Find a Blog Buddy.
While I’m an introvert and get energy by spending time alone – I’ve found that it is when I work together with other bloggers that my blogs grow fastest. Let me start with an illustration that some of you will be familiar with to help show the power of working together.
A Lesson from Geese
Scientists have found that geese flying in formation in a flock can travel around 78% further in a session than geese flying solo. Working together on the task of flying is beneficial in a number of ways:
- Aerodynamic Formation - The V formation of geese is a way that maximizes the energy expended by those flying as part of it. The bird at the front of the flock breaks the air for those flying behind it and creates a slipstream for them to be dragged along in. The birds behind also help those in front as the upward motion of their wing also creates an upward draft that propels them forward. This push/pull relationship ensures all birds in the formation benefit from the work of others.
- Rotating Leadership – Even with the pushing effect of those behind it – the front bird uses the most energy and becomes tired more quickly than others. The geese know this and instinctively rotate leadership of the flock – allowing tired birds who have used a lot of energy for the sake of the flock to take a rest and be dragged a long for a while until it is their next turn up front.
- Dropping out of the Flock – as a result of sickness or injury a bird will occasionally begin to fall away from the flock – unable to keep up. Instead of allowing this bird to fly on alone – at least two others will always drop out of the flock with it. This ensures that the injured bird will be defended and cared for until it is ready to resume flying – and that it will fly on with the benefit of flying in formation.
- Power of the Honk – From the ground the V formation of the geese is a beautiful thing to watch – serenely gliding across the sky these birds look quite majestic and peaceful. However get up into the flock and you find its quite a noisy affair with the geese constantly honking at one another. There are numerous theories about this honking and it could be partly about letting each other know where they are so there is no midair collisions) but many believe that this honking is actually about creating an environment of success and mutual encouragement. It reminds me of when I used to play football at school and before the game would begin all the boys would gather in the locker room to whip themselves into a frenzy – shouting meaningless stuff about what they’d do to the opposition, slapping each other on the back (and bums) and basically creating an environment where we thought we could conquer the world.
As a result of some of these dynamics the geese can fly amazing distances without stopping for rest – so much further than if they tried to do it alone.
Advantages of Working Together as Bloggers
In the same way – I’ve noticed that bloggers who work together often last longer and have more success in their building of their blogs. There are many benefits of finding another blogger (or a small group of bloggers) and committing to work together for the common good of your blogs.
Here are 10 benefits (taken from a great article in which each point is expanded upon in our archives The Power of Collaboration in Today’s Blogging World by Eric and Sean):
- You can feedback on posts, prior to pressing publish.
- You can have someone to vent to, who understands your situation.
- You can work on projects together.
- You can share link love.
- You can share each others posts through social media and with other bloggers.
- You can share communities.
- You can help each other stay motivated as you share encouragement.
- You can guest post for each other.
- You can share each others talents.
- You’ll have twice the blogging power at your disposal.
How to Find a Blogging Buddy
So how does one find a blogging buddy? Let me suggest two things:
- First go and read this article which is written on the topic – How to Find a Blog Buddy (there’s no point me rehashing those 7 points here).
- If you’ve not already joined the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Forums – head over there and start networking. There are 1300 or so bloggers already signed up and interacting and we’ve set up a special area specifically for Collaboration. Just keep in mind that this forum is for 31DBBB participants so if you join you need to be committed to the daily tasks and working together around them.
My dream with the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog challenge is that participants not only come away from the 31 days having learned and done a few exercises – but that they come away feeling connected to other bloggers who have shared the experience and who are looking to work together.
Together we know and can achieve a lot more than any single one of us.
Parting Advice in Building Blog Buddy Relationships:
As you head off to start connecting with other bloggers let me leave you with a few words of advice:
1. Make it Mutually Beneficial - these types of relationships are best when both parties come out of the interaction better off. It’s a give and take thing so make sure both parties contribute and benefit in tangible ways.
2. Attempt to Find someone Within or in a Similar Niche - this won’t be possible for everyone (there are a few people blogging with quite narrow and specialized focuses) however where you can – try to build relationships with people in similar niches to you. This will open up great opportunities for you on many levels. If you can’t find someone in your niche all is not lost. You can still learn a lot from one another when you have different topics.
3. Find other bloggers on your level - when I’ve suggested this in the past I noticed a lot of bloggers approaching just successful ‘A-list’ type bloggers. While there’s nothing wrong with building a relationship with a larger blogger – there’s also something really powerful about finding another blog at a similar stage to you. This means you’ll be both going through similar challenges at the same time and can worth through them together.
4. Make Each Others Blog Better – my parting advice is to commit to make each others blogs better. While most of us are committed to making our own blogs better (and should be) something quite powerful can happen when we take that attitude with another persons blog too.
“Synergy is the highest activity of life; it creates new untapped alternatives; it values and exploits the mental, emotional, and psychological differences between people.” - Stephen Covey
PS: see the forum discussion of this task and teaching here.
This task is a sample of one of the tasks in the 31 Days to Build a Better Blog Workbook – a downloadable resource designed to reinvigorate and revitalize blogs.
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